Is Zuckerberg’s prophecy starting to come true?
A while ago, he made a prediction that we would be sharing more images and video instead of text … and that we’d be using headsets to do it.
Shareaholic’s recent data shows that part of that prediction could be coming true.
In a Nutshell: Facebook Nosedives While Search, Image, and Video Rise
Their report, released in late February, revealed some interesting referral traffic trends for 2017:
- In 2014, social outpaced search in share of visits, but in 2017, search once again took the lead, “driving 34.8% of site visits in 2017, compared to 25.6% from social.“
- Google is the #1 traffic referrer, reclaiming its former title
- Facebook’s share of visits fell 12.7% between the second halves of 2016 and 2017
Pinterest and Instagram, however, are eating up users’ face time – Instagram has doubled its user base in the past two years and Pinterest’s 1.5% increase in YoY visit shares “more than double the other growing Social Networks combined.”
I don’t think Zuckerber is exactly surprised by these trends, however.
Back in 2016, Zuckberg predicted that Facebook would be “mostly video” within 5 years, which fits nicely with the Shareaholic data – daily watch time for Facebook Live has quadrupled in the past year.
Also, given the fact that Facebook acquired Instagram more than half a decade ago, it’s pretty clear Zuckerberg saw the writing on the wall.
How Can Marketers Benefit from this Information?
The instant reaction for most marketers would be to follow the data.
And that’s clearly a smart choice.
Since image, video, and search traffic will pave the way in 2018, in other words, it will pay to adjust your marketing mix accordingly.
However, I always like to look a bit further into the future – since this data follows on the heels of Zuckerberg’s years-old “prophecy,” it seems like a good idea to watch what the tech giants are planning, listen to their predictions, and prepare accordingly. Rather than simply following a step behind the data, watch the chess game that the tech giants are playing.
For instance, Zuckerberg’s conglomerate has purchased Oculus, the leader in VR technology, and he has also stated that AR is the future. So we can certainly expect to see transitions from image and video into 3D, AR, and VR technology in the coming years.
However, for the here and now, it pays to mix your marketing for the video- and image-hungry masses:
- Make sure your SEO is up to par
- Add images that can be shared on sites like Pinterest
- If you don’t do Facebook Live or other video marketing, now’s the time to think about it … after all, video is just going to keep growing
Ultimately, while social still drives significant traffic, search is still the top dog and it will be for a very, very long time.